Thursday, December 30, 2010

Flash Back of Adorable!

While cleaning out the camera, I came across the cutest old video of Nunu learning to say, "Daddy"  or so Daddy thought.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Kiss-Mas Momma and Daddy!

"Merry Kiss-Mas Momma and Daddy!", says Nunu as she awakes on Christmas morning. I woke her as I usually do by picking her up gently and rubbing her back. I wanted to wait until Daddy woke up so I tried to keep her in her room. I had also promised my mom the night before Christmas that she could come and see her open her presents. Even though when I called her she refused to come but that's another story.

Since she is only 20 months old, Nunu had no idea it was Christmas so she was very content with eating her cereal while watching cartoons in her room. This was great because it allowed me to have my coffee and wake up completely. But once she got started it was on an crackin'.

As she ripped through her parcels, she uncovered a Disney Princess tea set, golf set, toy firetruck and mega blocks, and boring clothes and hats.

While the Christmas tree glowed gleefully, my husband showered me with gifts and kisses. We drank warm hot cocoa and played with the new toys while Christmas movies played on TV all morning. It was a reminder of why I wanted to start a family. The memories are so thick and delicious. 

Later that day we visited with Hubby's grandparents, my aunts house (a zoo filled with people and presents) and finally his other grandparents in Fullerton. Nunu collected so many gifts that there will be a surplus packed away for her birthday in March. She was so overwhelmed that she refused to open anymore packages by the time we arrived at the last relatives house. I love that our family spoils her but I want to make sure that she knows the true meaning of Christmas. So, the next day we picked out older "baby toys" to give to the younger babies at the daycare.

Yes, Snoopy HAD to be in the picture!

The weekend was quiet and just what I needed after the week of being "surprise" manager at the firm. It gave me some perspective of what I do it all for.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Working Mommy Rant: Staying Out Of The Asylum

Trying to get Jojo to begin sleeping in her bed, again (yes, again). We were one of those lucky sets of parents blessed with having a baby that slept through the night... for about 5 month out of the 20 months she has been alive. At one point she would sleep from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. without waking once. For the past 2 weeks, she has been waking every couple of hours and when I put her to sleep in my room and attempt to lay her down in her own bed, immediately she snaps up screaming. WTF! We were on a roll, man. Where did this come from?

That's not all. When she IS awake, she is soooo clingy. If I am trying to get housework done, she hits me on the leg saying, "Momma, stop it. play. plaaaaayyy" So, I play a little bit and as soon as I sneak away she follows me. Seriously. The dishes are piled up in the sink and the laundry is a mountain that I am beginning to think I will never get to the end of. It's like she is 2 months old all over again. It's like my life is just her and work and nothing else. I used to be the type of mother that would look down upon those mothers always dropping their children off from babysitter to babysitter for weekend excursions and nightly activities. But I'm beginning to think that having SOME small portion of activity besides my child may be good for me. (Now, I am not giving myself a trifling mother pass to hit the club every night, but I am just considering a monthly movie or book club)

Then the mother guilt kicks in. Should I be complaining about this? Isn't this just motherhood? Isn't she just a baby? Who cares if she has to sleep with you for a little bit to get some sleep, that's your job isn't it? Am I not allowed to be annoyed, tired and irritated by it all? Who the f%&* knows the answers to all these questions? I know I don't. But I do know that I need a break before I become a woman in a orange jumpsuit. I need some room to breathe. So, I am writing this post and watching Sarah Palin's new show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska" which is really adding some amusement to my evening.

I think it's OK to get annoyed at being a mom sometimes as long as you have a plan to make it better and you don't stay glued in that space of unhappiness. See CrazyBabyMomma's Blog Post, "The Good (Enough) Mother". So, my goal has been to get her out the house. If even for an hour, each day when she comes home and on the weekends we go for a little walk. To tire her out a bit more and take in some fresh air. The jury is still out if this is going to work or not. But today I took her to the Rose Garden near USC, I found myself praying as I was walking. Spending some time breathing deep and really thanking God for our blessings we have in our lives. Even though I still had to be around her. I was still having my moment and all was well for a little bit. Maybe the walks are better for me then they are for her. But maybe taking care of me is better for her in the long run anyway. I would hate to have to meet her new husband from the other side of a plated glass window, no sharp objects of course.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Delta Airlines Harrasses A Famous Passenger For His Tattoos

I have no tattoos myself. You know why? I could never imagine what to get permanently put on my body that I would want when I'm like 80. At one point, when I was in junior high, I wanted to get Bugs Bunny's female counterpart "Babs" with a pink dress holding a lollipop on my lower back. Can you imagine that being pierced in the forehead when I got my Epidural shot? Really.

Los Angeles Times Reports - Los Angeles food stylist Adam C. Pearson had his adult world shaken up by his tattoo, complements of his adolescence. As he sat waiting for takeoff on a Delta flight, the flight attendant to step off the plane. (By the way, this is the second time there was a major goof by Delta airlines this year, see "FUI: Drunk Flying Delta Airline Pilot") He was then interrogated by she and the captain because another passenger had reported him for suspicious behavior. The passenger mentioned that Pearson had the words "Atom Bomb" tattooed across his fingers. This is not a behavior but an accessory on his body, but who's counting?

Pearson (a frequent Delta passenger with over 142,000 air miles) explained that the tattoos referred to a childhood nickname. "I was just shocked," Pearson said. "All eyes were on me, I felt everyone staring at me and I was like, 'I didn't do anything.' "

News broke through the social media scene because Pearson tweeted before the plane took off. His message: "Just pulled off delta flight, passenger said I was suspicious looking due to my tattoos @DeltaAssist not happy at all #goldmedallion fail" By the time he landed, he had 150 e-mails from L.A.'s close-knit food world, where Pearson is well-known for his stylish presentation of food so that it can be photographed for glossy magazines, advertisements and cookbooks.

A Delta representative told Pearson the airline would look into the incident. “A public apology would be nice,” Pearson said. “I’m not out for blood,” he added, but why didn’t they offer to book that other person on another flight if they didn’t like my tattoos? Why was that other person more important than me?”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

California Budget is Worse Then We all Thought

San Francisco Chronicle Reports - On November 2, Californians arrived to vote for our broke state in the hopes of making things better some way or another. Supporters of Proposition 19 said that in addition to the use of marijuana the legalization would help close the state budget deficit by generating more than $1 billion every year in tax revenue.

It turns out that the $1 billion would have just been a drop in the bucket because the deficit is $25 Billon. This is double what the lawmakers predicted before the election. Which I am sure wasn't an accident.

Cutting services and raising taxes will be a difficult task for legislators because the passage of Proposition 22 during last week's elections means that $800 million in certain transportation and local government funds will be frozen and unavailable to help bridge budget shortfalls. There is a special legislative session being called before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's term is complete. Sorry Terminator, no sneaking out the back door.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves here; The public is just glad we have a freaking budget. Just last month, lawmakers were 100 days overdue in passing a budget allocating $86.5 billion in general fund spending. Well, the Prop. 19 marijuana law passing may not have solved the budget crisis, but it might be able to chill out the masses to help us until we can get over this mess.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

'Dog Whisperer' Gets Sued for NOT being an Alcoholic's Best Friend

According to - Sean Hawkins, The former Executive Director of the Cesar and Ilusion Millan Foundation filed a complaint in L.A. Superior Court today claiming unspecified damages for being fired and stripped of his title.

Allegedly, he took a leave of absence to seek treatment for alcoholism in June, returned to work the next month clean and sober, to be fired. He says he was assured before he took the leave of absence that his job would be safe.

Hawkins alleges the very first day he returned to work, company big wigs stripped him of his title.  Then a few weeks later he says he was given an ultimatum -- a pay cut or the door.  Hawkins says when he asked for a little time to think about it, he was fired.

We shall see how Cesar Milan whispers his way outta this one.

Halloween Fun Party: For the Little Monsters

Even though it took a lot of drama to get it off and running, (for a real horror story; see "Halloween Party Maddness and the Fall of Super Mom" post)  the Halloween party was somewhat of a success. It ended up just being a get-together night with close family. But I thought I would share with you some of the highlight shots.

I couldn't get Jolie to sit still long at all so her is a motion shot of her adorable costume, Tinkerbell! I was interested in all the other costumes that would arrive to the party but once the word was out that this would be a more chill affair we only had a few adults with costumes, one sheriff and a house full of fairies.  My hubby was Prince Naveen and I, Tiana, both pre-froggy of course. He is pictured to my left with Lil Wayne. Don't let me forget, Nicki Minaj! (pictured below, right).
One thing that did save me from complete oblivion was the Potluck style party. So much food! We had homemade spaghetti with meat sauce (two kinds!), shrimp with white wine sauce lasagna, lemon chicken lasagna, fresh made salad and garlic bread. Spinach dip, Goat cheese and crackers, popcorn, jello shots (non-alcholic of course), fresh fruit and animal crackers for the kids. I only had fruit snacks and candy corn for everyone because I didn't want to go too candy crazy. Oh, an we can't forget the cupcakes, thanks Cousin Jessica!

After eating the kids had an opportunity to decorate their own mini pumpkins with stickers, markers and puffy paint! They had a pretty messy and fun time. And the result of the pumpkins was, well, interesting to see. The adults relaxed on the couch and watched "Avatar" (something Halloween-y) due to the excessive make-up but not to scary for the children, and drank hot apple cider.

It was a nice evening, and I'm glad we did it all. Thank you family for coming.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Party Maddness And The Fall of Super Mom

Our attempt at a Halloween Party this year came with the same package most of our life's events come with, a nicely wrapped box of drama. With a red bow of course...

I ambitiously sent the invite for this thing a month in advance. Requested the days off from work month(s) in advance. Bought low priced decorations online weeks in advance. Shopped for party favors, kid activities and recipes also weeks in advance. But what does God do when he hears our plans, laughs right? right.

Maybe I should have looked at the calendar. Then, I would have noticed that we were moving our office the week before this shindig and we WOULDN'T be closing. Which means the same work would have to be done in between packing and unpacking myself and 3 attorneys. Maybe I would have known that each night the week before this party, I would be too dog tired to do any shopping, cleaning or preparing. No No, not me. I'm Super Mom.

Maybe I should have thought about the weather. Then I would have noticed that it was going to rain every single day leading up to the party, including the weekend before. Meaning no outside decorations could have been put up till the day of the party. And dragging my family in the cold to buy shit may not be the most responsible choice. No No, not me. I'm Super Mom.

Maybe I should have bought Jolie's costume. Oh no, I had to get all Martha Stewart Wanna Be and ask an amazing friend of mine (who is just Renaissance amazing woman but that's another post) to make it for me. And no, my dumb overachieving multitasking mother of the year ass didn't stop there. I asked her to make a matching one for me too. Maybe I would have thought about the fact that I would never even get home early enough throughout the week to even get fitted for it. And I in turn for her kindness, would waste her time. No No, not me. I'm Super Mom.

But then the one thing happened that even I, Super Mom, could not have forseen, Jolie getting sick. And oh, no, not just regular sick. Teething, bacterial infection, whining, fever, mommy-don't-put-me-down-or-in-my-own-bed-up-all-night sick. Yea, that's niiiiiiiiice.

2 Hours before the party: What do you get when you mix a stressed, guilty, sleep deprived mommy with a screaming baby in the background and a long "To-Do" list? A healthy heaping of meltdown.
I laughed. I cried. I dramatized. It was better than "Cats" on Broadway.
The thing I just couldn't get past was that I had done all this for Jolie and she wasn't even well enough to enjoy it. She was in teething hell, poor baby. I couldn't focus on anything but that. This was all for her. Then, I collapsed on my bed crying like an orphan child.

As I lay there frazzled, calling and texting all I could to tell them it was cancelled. Certain family and friends began to call back. Worried. Telling me that they still wanted to come, if even to check on us to see that we were OK. The party wasn't important to them. It was our well-being and being together that was the important thing.

Now, I know all this but being told by others is something much better. Especially, when you are in such a fragile state. So, I pulled myself together. Whisked through the rest of the decorations, got the baby dressed in the one finished costume, helped Hubby in the kitchen and put a smile on. The smaller more managable family gathering ended up being a success. Everyone had an amazing time. And I learned yet another lesson.

Super mom is not the truth. Just doing the best I can with the cards I'm dealt is the true miracle.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Whatthefucsup? Lindsay Stays Free to Snort Another Day But T.I. Can't Get Help Even After Begging

Lindsay Lohan escaped jail again  on Friday when Rapper T.I. was sentenced to 11 months in jail for violating a very similar crime. One can't hope but wonder if this is because T.I. needs the phone number of Lohan's Beverly Hills Lawyer or if this coincidence has another reason for having varying results.
Beverly Hills Superior Court Judge Elden S. Fox ordered Lohan back to rehab for violating probation by testing positive for a random drug test. She will stay at the Betty Ford Center until January 3, 2011. Judge Fox advised Lohan that she needed to think about her future, “You will become unemployable,” he added. “Uninsurable.”

Dannette Meyers, Los Angeles District Attorney strongly recommended Lohan get 180 days (6 months) in jail for her violation. She pointed out that this will be Lohan's sixth time in jail. This is an ongoing cycle,” DA Danette Meyers told the court, adding that the only way the court would get Lohan’s attention would be by sending her to jail.

On October 15th, there was an example of the type of sentencing that Lindsay Lohan should have received happening on the other side of the Mississippi.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pannell Jr. revoked rapper T.I.‘s freedom and ordered him back to prison for 11 months. T.I. was arrested last month in Los Angeles on suspicion of drug possession. Unfortunately for him, he was on probation. His dumb moment was that after serving 10 months behind bars on federal weapons charges, he was caught with possession of marijuana and Ecstasy. Maybe he thought he had more in common with Lindsay than he does.

During the hearing, T.I. begged Pannell not to send him back to prison, (similar to Lindsay) saying he needed to get help for drug addiction. “I want drugs out of my life. If I can get the treatment and counseling I need … I can beat this,” T.I. told the judge, according to U.S. attorney spokesman Patrick Crosby. “I need help.
For me, my mother, my kids, I need the court to give me mercy
Mercy is exactly what T.I. needed. Unlike Lindsay, his prior charge was not drug possession. He did not violate his probation FROM drug possession WITH some more drug possession. Which would be a good cause to throw him in jail for a double violation. He has NOT ever been to rehab before. So wouldn't it make sense to give him a chance at it?

T.I’s attorneys argued that after reviewing nearly 250 cases with similar charges, none of those people were put back behind bars for violating probation. What makes him different? Violating probation by committing a crime that put no one in danger but himself, caused no harm to society. Instead of placing him in jail out of the stream of society, he should be able to have the chance to fix himself just as Lohan has 6 TIMES. She boundlessly violates her probation by committing the same crime over and over. When will she have to learn her lesson? What is really going on here?

Human Rights Activists Report on the Treatment of Moms in Jail

I think the only thing worse than being in jail, would be being pregnant in jail. Possibly equal to that detrimental position would be those that are mothers in jail. While reading online, I stumbled upon a study about this situation among women. It caught my eye because you don't hear of it much. There are more mothers in our jail system than one would think, the sad part is that they are being treated horribly.

National Women's Law Center and the Rebecca Project for Human Rights released a report today. The study looked at the jail system in several states concentrating on three areas - prenatal care, shackling of pregnant women during childbirth, (can you imagine?) and community-based alternatives to incarceration enabling mothers to be with their children.

The report noted that there are more than 115,000 mothers incarcerated as of 2009. This striking number is worse knowing that only one state, Pennsylvania passed the testing with an A. Virginia failed the test. Most of the women are nonviolent, first-time offenders, and about two-thirds have at least one child under 18.

"We know some states that are doing the right thing that don't have policies, and some states that have good policies that aren't doing the right thing," she said. "We want prisoners and their families to know what they're entitled to." Jill Morrison, a co-author of the report and senior counsel at the law center, said the use of shackles during childbirth has abated in part because of individual women who've taken a stand against the practice after enduring it.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tales From The Paper-Cut Trenches: Battle Of The Copies

So, today. I sit minding my business at my desk when I hear the distant drag of cheap Sears brand flats shuffling across the office floor. You know, that "Sista Attitude" walk that every divorcee' over 50 gets. (No offense to divorcee's over 50 but some of you are really bitter about life, which I'm sure you should be, but it shows in your walk, all that baggage of anger you carry around) She stops at my desk, my heart drops in anticipation of drama.

"Little Missy... I am doing that filing of the initial documents in Central District. I know you do Federal Court all the time, How many copies do I need?" says Esther, in the sweetest voice she can muster which sounds like a cross between the Wicked Witch of the East and Wednesday Adams. Oh and yes, she does call me Little Missy. Like I am a damn dog. "You need 4. The original which needs to be filed in duplicate, the chambers copy for the Judge and a copy to be conformed and returned to you."

She looks at me confused. "Well, I already have 3 printed. One for conforming, one courtesy copy and my original. Why do I need another copy? Where did you read that?" Annoyance level has now gone up to 2. I wanted to respond. "You asked me a question. Why do I now have to stop what I am doing and be quizzed?" Instead, I stayed cool. I promptly showed her the Local Rule of the court. It states anything you file  with the court in paper format, needs to have an additional copy sent to chambers. I also showed her the General Order that states that the documents need to be filed in duplicate. In case she wasn't following, I told her when you add the three and the one you want back that makes 4. "That's not what it says, they mean for electronic copies" Annoyance level at 3. How should one respond to that comment? Words, especially court rules, say what they say very clearly. It's not the Bible, it does not warrant it self to be interpreted according to the level of work you feel like doing. Just make another copy and call it a day. Stop being lazy. So, I tell her, "I have always made 4 copies, I have never had a problem with my filings. It doesn't take that much time to make another copy. What can it hurt?" She replies, "Nothing I guess, but you just shouldn't be doing all the extra work when we have so many copies." She storms off into the sunset. I think it's over and I feel like I was just on trial.

Mid-Afternoon, I have completed maybe 15 more tasks, had lunch and a cigarette break. I hear the pitter-patter of the Annoyance Parade approaching again. "I found this rule" slam on my desk as if it is a decree dismissing a man from death-row, "It states that you only need 2 copies" So, I amuse her and read it. "Yes, Esther" I reply, trying to hide my now Annoyance level of 6. I am appalled that she spent so much time trying to fight me when the time would have been better spent just making another copy and moving on to another assignment. "It is the same Local Rule I showed you earlier, the part about the extra copy is a section from the General Rule which is a separate set of rules. Listen, I have been filing District Filings for over a year, I have always filed them this way, I have never had a problem. If you want to only send 3, send 3, it's up to you, it's your filing. I am going to keep doing it the way I have been because there is nothing wrong with it." She leaves. Quietly. If steam could come out of her ears, I could have made kettle corn for all the kids at my Halloween Party. Score!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grumpy Old Man Kills Roomate For Singing

Not William Leo McDougall but no less grumpy.
 Talk about grumpy! 81-year-old man, William Leo McDougall of Laguna Woods was charged with one felony count of murder. Allegedly, McDougall used a metal rod to kill his 94-year-old roommate at a Laguna Woods rehabilitation center, authorities said Monday.

If convicted, He faces up to 25 years to life in prison. McDougall was recovering from hip surgery at the Palm Terrace Healthcare Center. Manh Van Nguyen began singing in Vietnamese and made McDougall angry and took a metal rod from the closet and began striking Nguyen on the head. The alleged attacker then had to be restrained by the healthcare staff. Nguyen was also recovering from hip surgery when the attack occurred. McDougall pled not guilty in Orange County Superior Court at his arraignment in Santa Ana.

Link Between Autism and Vaccines Makes It To The Supreme Court

The link between vaccines and autism in children returns to the courtroom this week. The judicial discussion has become a interest of mine as I learn more about autism and it's unfortunate attack on children. In my post, "Federal Court Rules: There Is No Link Between Autism and Vaccine", I spoke about the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on upholding that there is no connection between vaccines and autism in children. A ruling for Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services. The issue appears again now in the Supreme Court on behalf of the parents of a girl who allegedly suffered serious health problems from a childhood vaccine. The justices are hearing arguments from the couple, attempting to persuade them to allow the manufacturer of the vaccine to be sued.

This case could open drug makers to a flood of lawsuits over the side effects of vaccines, including those from families of autistic children claiming that mercury-based thimerosal is linked to autism. Numerous studies have addressed vaccines and autism and found no link as in Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services. I will continue to follow this issue and keep you all up to date.

My Opinion: I think it sucks if your child all of a sudden gets autistic out of the blue and there is no one to suffer for it. It seems as mothers especially, when something happens to our children we want somebody to pay. It's just that mother bear instinct I guess.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tales from the Paper-Cut Trenches: Esther the Cranky

I think it's time to tell some tales of my days at work. There are always stories of genuine interest, exciting intrigue oh, and haterism.

There are many annoying people at work. I mean who doesn't have annoying people at their office. But I have one person in particular, Esther.

Oh boy, Esther. She is the type of person that every budding career starting guppy fears. The bitter experienced person that is assigned to show you the ropes and make you feel at home but secretly hates the shit out of you because you are a faster, younger and smarter model of what they used to be. Think how Madonna must feel standing next to Lady GaGa, sure she isn't above cutting a single with her since she knows it will make her a buck but she is not above punching her in the ovaries if she had the chance. That's Esther.
Side Note: At work, I am a machine. I get a task, I complete it. I rename the email that I recieved with the task "(Completed)" I drag it into my "Completed Tasks" folder and I move on to the next task. In my downtime, I read the rules for all the court juristictions that I have cases in. If that's done, I go through all my cases double checking my calendaring, filing and documents. I don't ever waste time wondering why an attorney wants something done, why the court wants something a certain way or any of that Jazz. I just do it. I'm a doer. Not a complainer. I HATE COMPLAINERS. Esther is a Certified Guaranteed Complainer.
She complains when she gets to work about the traffic. She complains about her lack of sleep before she left work because she had to get in the traffic. She complains about the work she gets when she gets TO work.
I will talk more of her in future posts. I just thought I should introduce her.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pissed and Pierced: 14 Year Old Girl Wins Case Allowing Her Her Nose Piercing

One Small Step for Man-kind One Giant Leap for Piercings! Let me just say, I have never been big on piercings but to each their own. I also have not taken a stand as of yet on how I feel about my daughter getting a piercing in any odd place. By odd, to be clear, I mean any place other than her ears. (which have not been pierced as yet) It seems as if our legal system has taken a stand. Word on the street is that U.S. District Judge Malcolm Howard has ordered a North Carolina school to admit a 14-year-old student suspended for wearing a nose piercing she says is part of her religion.

What kind of religion would have body piercings as such an important part of it's practices?
The young girl, Ariana Iacono and her family belong to a small religious group called the Church of Body Modification. The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union contending that Johnston County school officials violated the constitutional rights of Ariana Iacono.

Ariana had been suspended from Clayton High School since classes started four weeks ago.
She and her mother say the nose piercing is part of their faith, not a fashion statement.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

For What? The Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Anna Nicole's Case

Does the Supreme Court have nothing else to do? The Devine Nine says that they will take on the appeal of the alleged estate of Anna Nicole Smith. This 15-year battle over the fortune of the elderly Texas billionaire, J. Howard Marshall II, whom Smith married in the mid-1990s.

The justices agreed to reconsider an appeals court ruling against Smith's estate.
The will of Smith's husband left nearly all his money to his son, E. Pierce Marshall, and nothing to Smith. The younger Marshall died in 2006 and Smith died of a drug overdose in 2008.

Where are the live people? Who is filling out all the paperwork? The Managers of Smith's estate are challenging the will. They are still claiming that her husband promised to leave her more than $300 million above the $7 million in cash and gifts showered on her during their 14-month marriage.

My Opinion: Seems like a waste of time to me. We have more important issues to decide.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Still Learning Lessons from Disneyland: 28 Years a Mouseketeer

So, on Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, we braved the world of Disneyland with our daughter for the first time! I thought I would be showing Baby new things and I ended up learning a few things myself.

We were lucky enough to have tickets gifted to us because clearly we would not have been able to afford the $76.00 per person steep as hell price. We  I decided to make the most of the situation and bring the baby while we could get the whole family in for free and also get some time alone so we can ride the adult rides.

The Plan: Bring the Baby in the Morning and then bring her to Grandma's and come back for Mommy/Daddy time. Nothing but a hand stamp and a gallon of gas. Right?

Things that got fu%*'d up:

  1. We didn't get there till 10:30, two hours from Baby's nap. The original plan was to get there by 8:00 am, so she could get on all the rides, carefully calibrated on my Disney list.
  2. It rained cats and dogs that morning, causing  (1) a bicker fight between hubby and I due to countless erroneous accusations that I did not check the weather.  (2)  Mommy having a four year old's panic attack, fearing my Disney day being rained out (3) cold whiny Baby just irritated by the long car ride.
  3. What we didn't check was our local "Out" magazine to realize that it was "Gay Day" at Disneyland and the park would be double crowded (yet filled with quirky red T-shirt sayings)
  4. My carefully (and anally) planned list of Baby friendly rides and event schedule quickly went to shit due to us being 2 hours behind schedule and the park being twice as crowded.
  5. We did not get to go on the Dumbo ride or It's a Small World.
  6. We forgot our tickets when returning to the park for adult time, which allowed us no use of the Fastpasses. And almost caused us non-entry if it wasn't for the Sistagirl Attitude I copped with the Disney line worker.
  7. When we begged enough people for tickets, the Fastpass option was closed.
Things that made it all worth it:
  1. Even without a nap Baby lasted till 3p.m. without meltdowns.
  2. The rain cleared up to a beautiful sunshine, as soon as we walked into the park. *weird
  3. The red t-shirt LGBT community made for a hilarious spotting game!
How could you not love winged and haloed men with shirts so cleverly saying, "Fruit Fly", Makeup wearing, "Queens In Training" and my favorite, "I love my Gay Best Friend"(arrow to...her male buddy..) "I love My Fag Hag". By the end of the night we were wishing we had shirts just so we wouldn't feel left out.
  1. Baby did ride her first ever ride, "The Carousel" how classic is that? She also went to the top of Beauty's Castle and had a ball in Toontown.
  2. The best part of it all, she got to meet Mickey!
Even though we didn't have Fastpasses we enjoyed long talks while waiting in long lines. Kissed under the firework show, and had a lovely dinner at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. What did I learn? To turn my over planning, over analytical mind off. To enjoy my family and just be. I had to learn that without my control, there is still possibility for things to go right. I learned to let go. One step at a time. One step.

Monday, September 27, 2010

San Diego Judge Cited For Using Her Courtroom As An Audition Couch

The Commission on Judicial Performance charged Judge DeAnn Salcido, San Diego for willful misconduct for allegedly videotaping courtroom proceedings to promote herself for a role on a TV show as an was channeling an off-color Judge Judy. According to the Commission, Salcido had her bailiff's husband videotape her on the bench presiding over various matters for about an hour back in 2009.

Salcido did issue a statement Thursday. She has acknowledged to the commission that she erred in judgment but described her bench behavior as taking a "tough love" approach. She also stated for the record that "The Commission on Judicial Performance has recently chosen the path of charging and trying me, in large part for my demeanor on the bench -- 38 instances out of an estimated 12,000 court appearances assigned to me during the past 18 months," Salcido said in the statement, issued by her attorney, Heather Rosing of San Diego's Klinedinst. "While I acknowledge that my style is different than that traditionally expected of judges, I believe that it is an effective way to accomplish the important goals of my service. I truly believe the results speak for themselves."

Some of her audition comments:
When a woman admitted to an alcohol and drug use problem, the judge referenced the Jamie Foxx song by saying, "Blame it on the a-a-a-a-alcohol.
She told another defendant "they might like your smile in jail," and on another occasion, told a man she placed on probation: "What that means is don't come before the court on another case ... 'cause you will definitely be screwed and we don't offer Vaseline for that."
The judge has until Oct. 7 to answer the commission.

If you believe that Judge Salcido is wrongfully accused then you can join her Facebook Fan Club: Support DeAnn Salcido.  I, personally, haven't made up my mind yet.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Journey Begins: Getting Personal, Law School Style

Today I went to the Law School Admissions Council Forum. It was a culmination of all the law schools across the country in one room with their admissions counselors available for questioning.

There were a few seminars which provided panels and options for Q & A on various subjects. I chose to attend the seminar on "How to get the best of this forum" (because I never know what to do at these things), "The Application Process" (because I am totally intimidated by the massive applications that law schools present) and "Diversity in Law Schools" (obviously because I'm Black or African American, whichever makes you more comfortable.)

Overall it was awesome to be in the trenches with my fellow prospective students (Nervous Nellies). Hoarding of admissions officers, long lines, hot rooms filled with blazers and hairspray, massive amounts of school marketing materials was the name of the game. Oddly enough, I loved it! It was so exciting to be in the land of learning again. Just the gathering of information about my future school experience gave me a whiff future accomplishment. Oh the sweet smell of baking accomplishment.

As I sit now folding the baby's clothes, (because reading any of those materials proves impossible due to the baby and husband constantly interrupting my efforts) I realize that my brain is in information overload. Tossing back and forth all the facts and figures of each institution. Median LSAT scores, Average GPAs and Class Sizes. A mesh of the various program options, school admissions application schedules and student organizations floats before my fore mind. Where will I go? What will it be like? Something to ponder and something to look forward to, The journey begins.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lindsay Lohan Goes Directly To Jail. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200.


Lindsay Lohan a.k.a. Miss Snow Globe of America 2010 was ordered back to jail again today for violating her probation.

It was a very brief hearing in that Judge Elden Fox laid down the sentence. The Judge called the hearing following a bench warrant he issued for Lohan based on a probation report "indicating a positive test for a controlled substance." Under the terms of her probation, if Lohan missed a drug test or got a positive result, she could face 30 days in jail. But it was ultimately the decision of the judge whether to send Lohan to jail or try another round of drug treatment. Guess he didn't think rehab would be in the cards for her this time.

Awaiting further information from probation officials, the Judge ordered Lohan into custody without bail and set an Oct. 22 court date. This is just to give him time to figure out her condition based on the positive test. Lohan's attorney asked to be heard on the issue of bail but the judge declined.

Brought out of the court in handcuffs, the 24-year-old actress showed no emotion. Maybe she thought it would be seen as only an act?  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mostly All Bell, CA City Officials Arrested Today: The City Celebrates!

Bell, Ca says Book'em Danno!

Celebration sweeped Bell, CA this afternoon as the city's mayor and seven other current and former city leaders were carried away in handcuffs for corruption charges. Bell Mayor Oscar Hernandez, 63, former city manager Robert Rizzo, 56, and six others, two of them still elected members of the City Council, are charged with misappropriating more than $5.5 million in taxpayer money, including unapproved loans to themselves and others and taking allegedly fraudulent payments for phony committee meetings with funds taken from the treasury.

Rizzo, held under $3.2 million bail, was being paid an annual salary and benefits package totaling more than $1.5 million and was the "unaccountable czar" of Bell, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said. Using taxpayers money to pay enormous salaries and perks while the cities townspeople are all blue collar hardworking lower to mid level people. This guy has some nerve.

Quotes regarding this scandal:

State Controller John Chiang said his audit found the city "had almost no accounting controls — no checks or balances — and the general fund was run like a petty-cash drawer."

"It's euphoria right now," says Danny Harber, 66, who on Wednesday was still enjoying accounts of the police sweep a day earlier that rounded up the officials on corruption charges.

"There's a lot of jubilation," said Cristina Garcia, 33, a math and statistics teacher who has been helping organize the recall campaign. "They've been waiting to see these people in handcuffs."

Interim City Manager Pedro Carrillo, who requested the audit in July following disclosure of high salaries by the Los Angeles Times, said the findings are "shocking and detail actions that are reprehensible beyond words."

"We're glad these people got arrested. I think they got what they deserved," says Ben Gomez, 81, a retired federal worker. Gomez laughed at recalling the sight of Rizzo being led in handcuffs out of his luxury home in Huntington Beach, a more affluent community in Orange County. A news photo of that scene had been enlarged and turned into a poster, with the word "Justice!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

[Figure] It Out: LSAT Update

As an update: I did not receive the scholarship. [Insert boos and hisses here] I was very disappointed and then immediately afraid wondering how I was going to now pay for this LSAT prep course that everyone says is so important to my success on the test. I am a full time working mother and my husband owns his own business. We have one solid definite income and a second not so solid variable income. Sometimes the variable comes in big packages and other times not so big. So it is very difficult to budget in any extras.

So my brain went into hyper-speed trying to figure all this out. Then, here it comes...the mom-guilt sets in. In the spirit of all things paralegal I research my options: I first considered the Blueprint Prep Course (because of it's pricing and lackadaisical approach) but the reviews I read on Yelp and amongst friends tells me their reputation is not so good. Considering my need to be home with the little momma at night, an online course may be the way to go, it is the cheaper option as well. Testmasters, Powerscore and Princeton Review also have online options. If anyone reading this has any opinion on these programs please let me know!  So I may be saved. Maybe.
Should I even be pursuing a law degree? Am I being selfish even thinking of putting my family in this kind of debt and strain? Do I even think I can make it into law school? Is being a paralegal enough? Should I just wait around for the increase in pay and benifits of my career as it is and just be satisfied with that? I feel like my brain is going to explode. And as any other paralegal would do, I began to research. What other programs are out there? How can I decrease my costs?

As far as my dream in it's entirety, I have decided to keep moving forward as of now. I called my hubby at lunch and he reminded me that my pursuit of law school will help my family's situation in the bigger picture. (God, I love that guy.) Being true to myself and pursuing my dream is what will make me a better person and in turn a better mother. I think.

The quote below was snagged from one Star Jones, Esq's blog:

"You are either ON the way or IN the either way...time to keep it moving! No one every moved on to the next level by standing still. The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible."

So another day in the pursuit of perfection.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Letters to Gov. Quinn on behalf of the Carroll Family

I try to feature family based legal news on my blog and I figured this was very relavant to my non-audience. This is a dear work friend of mine and I want to spread the word as much as possible so here it is.

Note posted by Dannielle Carroll on Facebook:

Most of you know that my father was killed in 1996, when I was a sophomore in high school.  For those of you that don't, I have included a link below to a news article that covered the story at the time.  My family recently found out that one of the men convicted of his murder has petitioned the Governor of Illinois for clemency and release.  We, as citizens across the country who believe in the justice system, can not let this happen.

I am asking you to please take a moment to read my message below and then do two things.  First, write or email a letter to the Governor of Illinois, Patrick Quinn, as soon as you can.  The clemency hearing is scheduled for October 8, 2010.  Second, please send this message on to your family and friends.  If this man is released, he will be living among the rest of us -- and can choose to live anywhere in the countryMy father's death was not an accidental death. This attack was unprovoked and unwarranted. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  My family really appreciates it.

Back in 1998, Richard Fikejs was convicted of the 1996 murder of three men, including my father, Kevin Carroll.  At the time, my dad was 39, happily married almost 20 years to my mom, Lynn, and the father to six children, including two foster children (Dannielle, Heather, Frank, Jennifer, Bridget, and Jessica).

Richard Fikejs was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.  He recently (unsuccessfully) attempted suicide.  Based upon this, his mother has petitioned the governor for clemency, stating that her son is emotionally unstable/unfit to be in prison.  She has been granted a hearing next month in order for the governor to determine clemency.  If it is granted, Richard Fikejs' will be immediately released and his record will be expunged. 

An example text for your letter is below, but please feel free to add or write whatever you like. Keep in mind that his mother is asking for his release from prison with no record of him ever being there!!! He was convicted of murdering three men with no provocation. Thanks again for your help. My family really appreciates it.
Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Dear Governor Quinn,

This letter is regarding the upcoming clemency hearing on behalf of IDOC inmate Richard Fikejs. He was convicted in 1998 of the October 12, 1996 murder of three men, including Kevin Thomas Carroll.

(Please insert a statement here about how you knew my dad or my family. Some examples are:
  1. Mr. Carroll grew up on the same street as me. I remember meeting him while growing up, and was actually a classmate of his daughter, Heather Carroll. He was very devoted to his family and his murder was devastating to our entire neighborhood.
  2. Mr. Carroll was a member of my church, St. Denis.  He was actively involved in Boy Scouts, of which I/my son was a member.
  3. Mr. Carroll was a volunteer with the St. Rita band, helping to set up halftime shows during football games.  His dauther, Dannielle Carroll, was a fellow member of the band with me.
  4. Mr. Carroll was an active member of the community.  Growing up on the southside of Chicago, he attended Tonti School and Hubbard High School.  He coached Little League in Merrionette Park.  He raised his family here and was a member of St. Denis Parish.  He could frequently be seen enjoying our neighborhood, whether it was bringing his kids to Marquette Park to go fishing, or sitting at his kids softball games on Saturday mornings at Hayes Park.  He was a proud supporter of the Boy Scouts and volunteered with the Chicago Area Council, spending summer weekends completing repair projects at Owasippe Scout Reservation so that all Chicago area scouts would have the chance to enjoy the outdoors. 
  5. etc.......Also include something about how you knew our family....classmate, friend, family, concerned citizen, etc.)
His death in 1996 was devastating.  Not only was a valued community member killed, but my own sense of security was tested.

In 1998, we believed that justice had been served when Richard Fikejs was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. When I found out that his mother was petitioning for clemency due to Mr. Fikejs' recent unsuccessful suicide attempt, I was shocked. There is absolutely no reason why Mr. Fikejs should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of free society after committing such a horrific crime. I hope you feel the same way and DENY this clemency request on October 8, 2010.

123 Main St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 123-4567

Thank you for your support. If you read my blog, you understand how important family is to me. So let's make things happen for this family. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Will Work For LSAT Prep

I need a miracle!
 I'm really nervous. I'm supposed to find out tomorrow whether or not I received a scholarship for the Blueprint LSAT program.

Shaking in my bunny slippers because I don't know how I am going to afford a LSAT prep course if I don't receive this scholarship.

And I have done my research, believe me... Kaplan, Princeton, TestMasters etc. and they all are $600 - $3,000+! I understand weeding people out of the process of law school. You know, keeping the population down and all that. But this is ridiculous.

I guess the adverse prospective would support the high costs of preparatory programs for the LSAT by simply admitting the fact that you don't actually HAVE to take one. You can just take the LSAT without a program.

To argue with myself... (disclaimer: arguing with yourself is only allowed via the blogsphere. Do not attempt to argue with oneself on a corner, in a mall or any other place in public and out-loud.) I would say that I have interviewed several others that have taken the LSAT and they have bottoms up agreed to NOT take the LSAT without a preparatory course. And a few of my friends at the firm, we shall call them Genius and Guillermo Gordon, had a tremendous increase in their LSAT scores from the Blueprint prep course specifically. So, I researched the courses and they even offer them in Downtown L.A. near our new office that the firm will move to in a month. Perfect Fit! Now, I just need them to cut down the cheddar needed to take the damn thing and I will be on my way.

I have signed up and paid for the December LSATs so I have got to get a move on. What am I doing? Am I mad? Taking this on is just one more thing to worry about. Hell, I'm already just worried about getting the scholarship to just get into a prep course for the LSAT. I haven't even taken the test and I'm already driving myself crazy.
Alice: "You've gone quite mangy, cat... but your grin's a comfort."

Cheshire Cat: "And you've picked up a bit of an attitude, still curious and willing to learn, I hope."

I Wanna Go Home, But I Don't Want To Stay There

There are times when I am completely over the heels excited to go home and see my lovely baby and husband. There are times when I am completely horrified. Today, I cannot get out of my seat fast enough. The thought of kissing that little face is branded in my brain like a Grade A stamp on a Bull's Fanny.

Throughout history women have and continue to fight for equal rights. There has always been a teetering balance between what we wanted and what we didn't want to lose. Do we want to have the possibility of being equal to our male counterparts? Yes. Do we also want the right to raise our children and be cared for by our husbands? Yes. Can we have both? Maybe. There was a time in our world where this question of "can I have it all" would have been a breaking point in our negociations with the changing of law.

"I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality." - Alice Paul, Women's Equal Rights activist and major mover in the Equal Rights Amendment.

To Alice it was all black and white. We want equality, bottom line. She didn't comprehend a country that called itself a democracy without ALL of it's people being equal. But all views have it's opponents.

“What I am defending is the real rights of women. A woman should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother.” “Feminism is doomed to failure because it is based on an attempt to repeal and restructure human nature.” - Phyllis Schlafly
Women like Phyllis Schlafly, right-wing leader of the Eagle Forum/STOP ERA, played on the same fears that had generated female opposition to woman suffrage. Anti-ERA organizers claimed that the ERA would deny woman’s right to be supported by her husband, privacy rights would be overturned, women would be sent into combat, and abortion rights and homosexual marriages would be upheld. Well, yeah that all comes with it as we see later in history after the 70s when this amendment was being ratified across the states.

Today, we still have this debate. Does being a working mother searching for that equality to her male counterparts constitute giving up her RIGHT to be a proper wife and mother? Does this go so far as to say we are "restructuring human nature"?

I'll be honest...Somedays, I wish I had the option of staying home with the baby. Going on playdates and lunches in the park. But, I don't have that option. I'm not even sure if I could handle that option if it was one. It would be nice for a few days but I would slowly lose my mind. Believe me, at the end of the day, I am rushing to get home and see my family whom I have missed all day. But I enjoy my right to be where I am. I enjoy my right to help provide for my family. Because I don't know what ditch or cardboard box we would be living in if I couldn't.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Supreme Court Upholds Sanctions Against Lawyer Challenging Our President's Citizenship

The Supreme Court has upheld a $20,000 fine against Orly Taitz, a leader of the movement challenging President Barack Obama's citizenship.

The high court on Monday refused to block a federal judge's October 2009 ruling that required California lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz to pay the $20,000 fine for filing a "frivolous" litigation. The judge said Taitz attempted to misuse the federal courts to push a political agenda.

Taitz sued in Georgia federal court on behalf of Army Capt. Connie Rhodes. Rhodes sought to avoid deployment to Iraq by claiming Obama wasn't born in the United States.

"(Rhodes) has presented no credible evidence and has made no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as president of the United States," Land states in his order. "Instead, she uses her complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the president is 'an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] an unqualified imposter.'" Source: Huffington Post

Justice Samuel Alito on Monday rejected Taitz's second request to block the sanctions. Justice Clarence Thomas had rejected the request earlier.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Totally Misproportioned Rant: Mommy Gone Wild

Just had a amazing spaz session on my husband. It's just something about the fact that when I come home from the career of ultimate organization and order, I walk into chaos at the front door.

I mean he doesn't have to do much. Pick her up from daycare. Give her a nutritious snack. Change her diaper and play with her until I get home. No no no... I come home to a butt naked baby stuffed with cookies and half combed hair.

What now, Daddy of the Year? As you leave and gallivant through the town doing God knows what, I am forced to stay and deal with a baby that won't eat dinner. Overstimulated, Hungry and Cranky, the baby now has to be chased down and tackled to be brought back to reality. Something, I do not have the energy to do.

O.K. Maybe it wasn't that bad. I mean he just left to go help his little cousin out at his high school football game. And he did feed her bananas and apples, not cookies., but all sugar non-the-less. So, it still wasn't dinner but he did play with her on the swing set outside. But she now was sugared to a frenzy with a toy picnic in the living room that I would have to clean up!

I think just after a day of getting a freaking judgment filing done in 4 different counties in Georgia, making calls to various bitchy court clerks about Hearing dates, helping one of the major litigators in your firm find his way to his hotel from the middle of Croatia, all this without a lunch break. You may blow a few things out of proportion. Oh and did I mention I was on my period? Forget about it.

So, when he asked me where the keys where so I could move my car so he could escape the baby zoo I walked into. I told him where to shove them. Well, no really I just snatched them up and moved the car myself. Take that Boo. I am woman hear me roar.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bengals Cheerleader Accused Of Shagging A Footballer Gets $11 Million Judgment

cincinnati_bengals_cheerleadersU.S. District Judge William Bertelsman ordered a gossip blog called to pay Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones $11 million for libel and defamation resulting from allegedly false accusations that Jones had sex with Bengal football players and had two venereal diseases.

Sarah Jones repeadedly requested for the site to take down the posts. Jones claims that cause havoc throughout her life.

Embarrased, she was forced to face fellow teachers, cheerleaders and not to mention the Bengal's fiancee to explain that the posts weren't true; because cheerleaders are not allowed to fraternize with player, her job was put on the line.

Her work e-mail was flooded with crude e-mails from random people who saw the posts. Leaving the principal of her school no choice but to review the security camera footage after one postalleged she was having sex in her classroom.

Jones' lawyer was hopeful that Jones would be able to collect on the judgment, according to He said the "the site is operated by a limited liability cooperation that 'apparently is doing pretty well' and is backed by investors who he will attempt to expose.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Federal Court Rules: There Is No Link Between Autism and Vaccine

vaccine-and-autismFriday, August 30th, 2010, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on upheld what the lower courts have ruled that there is no connection between vaccines and autism in children.

The ruling came in Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, In this case Michelle Cedillo recieved the the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine in 1995 and began to show mental retardation and autism symptoms afterward. Cedillo was among the roughly 5,000 cases alleging a link to autism filed under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

Joined by Judges Pauline Newman and Richard Linn, Judge Dyk concluded that the report of the lower level courts in the Cedillo case was "rationally supported by the evidence, well-articulated, and reasonable." They saw no need to overturn the results. In May, the Federal Circuit issued a similar ruling in another of the autism test cases, Hazlehurst v. HHS.

Theresa Cedillo, the mother of the plaintiff in the case decided Friday, sent this comment on the ruling: "We are obviously extremely disappointed. Michelle has a very strong case. The facts in her medical records speak for themselves. Our lawyers are currently reviewing the decision to see what legal options are available."

Opinion: I am saddened that there will be no one to blame for this child's illness. As a mother, I know that Theresa Cedillo must feel helpless that her child's health has deteriorated yet there is no explanation for it's orgin. What is a mother to do?